Beijing enveloped in eye-watering smog in second red alert of month

Beijing was enveloped in eye-watering, throat-irritating smog on Saturday as the second red alert of the month went into effect in the Chinese capital, forcing many cars off the roads and restricting factory production.

See Full Article

A wave of smog settled over the notoriously polluted city of 22.5 million overnight and is forecast to last into Tuesday because of a lack of strong winds.

Smog red alerts, the most serious in a four-tier warning system, are triggered when high pollution levels are forecast to last more than 72 hours.

Levels of PM2.5, the smallest and deadliest airborne particles, rose as high as 303 in some parts of Beijing on Saturday and are predicted to top 500 in coming days. That's more than 20 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.

As a result of the red alert, schools were ordered closed and half the city's cars forced off the roads each day. Barbecue grills and other outdoor smoke sources have been banned and factory production restricted.

While some balked at the inconveniences, most Beijingers appeared to support the measures after a lengthy stretch when the government was seen as largely ignoring the smog problem.

"I think (the government) is doing a better job than before," Beijing resident Ma Yunan said. "In previous times, the government would not issue red alerts even when the haze was very serious. Now they are publishing alerts beforehand for us to get ourselves prepared and the alerts are accompanied with some measures."

Although the smog warning system was launched two years ago, Beijing had not issued a red alert until Dec. 7, drawing accusations that it was ignoring serious bouts of smog to avoid the economic costs.

The smog in Beijing is largely blamed on coal burning power plants, industrial pollution and the booming number of vehicles. The city's geography worsens the problem because mountains on three sides trap smog, and cold winter air presses down on it to keep it from clearing.

While waiting for promised plans to cut coal pollution to take effect, residents of Beijing and other polluted cities in northern China adapt by wearing face masks and equipping their homes with air filters.

China, the world's biggest carbon emitter, plans to reduce hazardous emissions from coal-fired power plants by 50 per cent over the next five years, and says its overall emissions will peak by about 2030 before starting to decline.

Scientific studies attribute 1.4 million premature deaths per year to China's smog, or almost 4,000 per day.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Desperate times obscure Canada's role in Iraq's uncertain future

    Canada News CTV News
    ERBIL, Iraq -- A baby's cry pierces the din as dozens of people wait to see a doctor or nurse at what's surely one of the busiest health clinics in the Middle East: inside a sprawling refugee camp that's home to 18,000 displaced men, women and children. Source
  • U.S. House probe into Russia ties to Trump off to rocky start

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A simmering dispute between leaders of the House intelligence committee spilled into the public Monday over an investigation into whether President Donald Trump has ties to Russia, even as they pledged to conduct a bipartisan probe. Source
  • Turkey jails reporter from Germany's Die Welt paper

    World News CBC News
    Turkish authorities on Monday arrested a reporter for a prominent German newspaper on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting the public to violence, Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Baris Yarkadas told reporters outside the courthouse. Source
  • Convicted killer Kelly Ellard allowed temporary escorted prison release

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Convicted killer Kelly Ellard has been granted temporary escorted absences from prison to attend doctor’s appointments and parenting programs for her baby. Parole board member Alex Dantzer says it’s disturbing that Ellard continues to minimize her crime, but in light of her good behaviour in prison she should be allowed the absences. Source
  • Jewish centres cope with more bomb threats; graves also vandalized

    World News Toronto Sun
    PHILADELPHIA - Money is being raised to repair and restore more than 100 headstones that were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia while police hunt for the person who toppled them. A man visiting Mount Carmel Cemetery on Sunday called police to report that three of his relatives’ headstones had been knocked over and damaged. Source
  • Bartender told 911 Kansas man accused of shooting two Indian men thought they were Iranian

    World News Toronto Sun
    OLATHE, Kan. — A bartender at the restaurant where a man was arrested last week for an apparently racially motivated bar shooting of two Indian men told a 911 dispatcher that the suspect admitted shooting two people, but described them as Iranian. Source
  • Ex-Montreal mayor Applebaum won't appeal corruption conviction

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- The lawyer for former Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum says there will be no appeal of his client's conviction on corruption-related charges. Pierre Teasdale confirmed the decision Monday but did not give any reasons. Source
  • Mom not getting son, who weighed 132 lbs. at age 5, back

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, N.S. — A Nova Scotia judge has ruled that a boy who was five years old and weighed 132 pounds when he was taken from his mother will not return to her care, saying living with her was too hazardous to his health. Source
  • Security advisory issued after bomb threats at Jewish schools, centres across U.S.

    World News CTV News
    A national Jewish civil rights organization is urging institutions across the United States to ramp up their security efforts amid a wave of bomb threats phoned into Jewish community centres and schools in as many as 12 U.S. Source
  • 'Just killed two people. Cheers': Murderer sends chilling text to father

    World News Toronto Sun
    A Welsh man sent a bitter text to his father soon after stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend to death, bizarrely signing off the message by saying “cheers.” Before the double-killing of Zoe Morgan and Lee Simmons in Cardiff, Andrew Saunders took to Google, asking “how long do murderers serve in prison,” according to the Daily Mail. Source